Beginning Soft Pastels with Hope Martin


Beginning Soft Pastels with Hope Martin

from 125.00

Wednesdays, February 27th - April 3rd
6-8 PM

This beginning pastels course is designed to give you the basics of working with soft pastels. Emphasis will be on techniques that work best on a particular sanded paper with an eye towards achieving realism in your final piece.



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  • Uart sanded pastel paper 600 grit beige

  • Soft pastel sticks in various hardnesses with a good value range

  • Break-away knife for sharpening pencils

  • Sanding block, for sharpening pencils

  • Kneaded eraser

  • Inexpensive stiff brush (like Artist loft brand for acrylics) in a fan or chisel shape in a few sizes

  • Closed cell foam (like pool noodle chunk or pipe insulation)

  • Denatured alcohol or isopropyl alcohol

  • Paper toweling

  • Jar for alcohol

  • A tray for holding your active palette is recommended. I use a wooden mosaic tray from Michael’s

  • Backing board and painters tape

  • Mahl stick or ruler for support

  • Wet wipes

  • Workable fixative

Get the best pastels you can afford, they’ll contain more pigment and give you better coverage. If you are starting from scratch, select sets or individual sticks based on a good value range (light to dark). It’s easier to substitute a different hue in the proper value and still get the effect you want than to work without a full value range. Tip: squint at them side by side or snap a pic and convert to black and white to help you judge.

The paper is critical to this workshop. It is really sturdy stuff and can take a lot of abuse. It never lays completely flat so you will need to tape it down to your supporting surface all around.

My paintings almost always start in my sketchbook in graphite (a quick study of about an hour). Then I move to a longer study in charcoal (can be up to 6 hours) followed by a small color study (5” x 7” or so) on sanded paper (a few hours). If all goes well, I’ll move on to a larger size and apply what I’ve learned about my subject along the way.

This beginner’s workshop will start with time to play then move to the color study stage. Bring your reference photo or prepared sketch to work from to the second class. We’ll start with a small piece of sanded paper (about 5” x 7”) to get a feel for the techniques learned and media before moving on to a larger work (up to 8” x 10” approx).

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